What is the purpose of ordinances?
Quickly review the events in the Garden of Eden. God created Adam and Eve, who were perfect in body and innocent in mind. They were place in the garden, commanded to have children and commanded not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Satan came, and tempted them to eat the fruit; they ate and were cast out of the garden and more importantly, they left God's presence. Ever since then, humans have been trying to get back to God to live with him.
Read Moses 1:1-24
Pay particular attention to verses, 5, 10-11
19 And this greater priesthood administereth the gospel and holdeth the key of the mysteries of the kingdom, even the key of the knowledge of God.
20 Therefore, in the ordinances thereof, the power of godliness is manifest.
21 And without the ordinances thereof, and the authority of the priesthood, the power of godliness is not manifest unto men in the flesh;
22 For without this no man can see the face of God, even the Father, and live.
The whole point of ordinances is to help us prepare to meet God and live in his presence. Ordinances are symbolic and teach and remind us of our duties to God and others. Each ordinance is tied to a duty - always a duty to God or a duty to others. As we fulfill these duties, we prepare ourselves to meet and live with God again.
What are the ordinances?
- Melchizedek Priesthood ordination
- Temple endowment (washing/anointing, receiving tokens and signs)
- Marriage sealing
- Sacrament (memorial ordinance)
- Washing feet (for apostles; see this link)
- Naming and blessing of children
- Oil consecration
- Blessing sick
What is a symbol?
My ring is a symbol of my love and commitment to Jill.
Just this week, an author I enjoy reading, produced a little coin called a memento mori which is supposed to remind the person who carries it around, that they will die soon and they ought to treat each day as a gift.
Symbols represent something or an idea. And when we see the symbol, we ought to remember whatever it is we are supposed to remember or we ought to do whatever it is we ought to do.
How we learn from ordinances
Divide class in half. One half will focus on baptism and the other half on sacrament.
They will search and then share:
1. What does the ordinance symbolize
2. What does the ordinance teach
- what should we remember
- how should we act and live / fulfill our duties
They should be prepared to share a quote from the scriptures or from a talk. They can use the chalkboard or anything else to help demonstrate the symbol and what it is we are supposed to remember or do when we see that symbol.